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March 21, 2019



MURRAY STATE+3.5: 1 UNIT (-110)

We are supporting another 12 seed in Murray State on the spread in this spot. Since 2008, 5 seeds have only covered the spread in the first round 37.8% of the time. Last year we saw a bit of an anomaly with 5 seeds going 3-0-1 ATS (100% not counting the push) and we believe the 12 seeds are going to be back with a vengeance this year, and cover the spread closer to their 62.2% cover rate over the last 10 year sample size. This is low-key one of the most intriguing match-ups of the day where two of the most exciting players in the nation in Ja Morant (Murray), and Markus Howard (Marquette) will be going toe-to-toe. Marquette is a team we have labelled to be over-seeded this year. Looking at their comparables across the last 10 years, their data suggests they more resemble a 7 seed, with not a lot of winning history. Marquette is another heavily-relient 3-point shooting team (36.4%), which can make or break you in this tournament. Nerves and one ice-cold half can cripple teams with this makeup and we like Murray State to stymie their beyond the arc game in this one. The Racers have the 4th best 3-point shooting defense in the nation, limiting opponents to 28.5% from beyond the arc, -7.9% below the Golden Eagles' season average. Marquette has dropped from the 20th ranked offense in the nation in January, to the 101st ranked unit in March. Markus Howard has also been struggling with a right wrist injury and it was clearly bothering him in the Big East semi-finals vs. Seton Hall where he shot just 1-15 (6.6%) from the field. Marquette is trending the wrong way and Murray State's Ja Morant is widely regarded as the best player in the nation making them a must-play here.